Well this is uncomfortable. This xkcd comic perfectly describes a major source of lifelong anxiety for me.

When you’re in the non-default group (for me, it’s gender), you often carry the unfair burden of representing your entire group. Sometimes it’s real, sometimes it’s imagined. Rational or not, I have often felt that if I failed at something, I was failing women. It is really hard to type that out and look at it and admit it.

It raises questions worth asking: is this partly why I have always worked so hard to be the best and put so much pressure on myself – more than anyone ever put on me? Is this why I’ve finally burned out at work? And has the universe/my body/whatever sent me a message, in the form of burnout, telling me to finally let go of these toxic beliefs? 

Well, maybe it’s working. I noticed the other day that I haven’t once felt curious about any of the projects I left behind. I’m in my 4th week of Unstructured Free Time and life is considerably more peaceful. It’s a process.